Gardening has become trendy over the past few years, especially during the pandemic. Professionals and hobbyists alike get to let their creative muscles stretch and flex through flower gardening, either in a pot, hanging basket, or mixed container.
There is much to experiment with, such as colors, texture, styles, and contrast from foliage and flowers alike. Flowers that bloom all year round are available in every thinkable color, shape, and size; basically anything under the sun!
What do you need for a stunning display?
A formula for a stunning flower pot display comes in the form of a three-word phrase called “thrillers, fillers, and spillers”. To explain briefly, thriller plants are the focal point of your space as they are what will initially catch the eye of your guests.
Fillers, as their name implies, help fill in spaces of your flowering garden and are often more low-key than their thriller counterparts.
Finally, spillers are plants that usually trail or cascade over the edge of their containers. Take this more of a general guideline rather than strict rules, and play around with different combinations. Better yet, make your own rules! The only rule here is that we should always love and take care of our plants.
So here in this article, you’ll find an exhaustive list of some of the best flowering plants to hopefully inspire your next creative garden idea. This list is in order of the phrase mentioned earlier, of the “thrillers, fillers, and spillers,” so there will be plenty of plants for you to mix, match, and combine to create your ideal garden!
1. Fuchsia (Fuchsia)
There is not much to say about this flowering plant except that its flowers are strikingly brilliant and come with exotic blooms that are sure to catch anyone’s attention. Depending on your variety, their blooms can come in an assortment of single and double flowers and in varying shades and contrast of white, pink, red, violets, and purples.
If your container garden is in a shaded area, give this flower a try!
2. Petunia (Petunia)
If you’re looking for a plant that blooms all year round, then look no further than to Petunia! They come in just about any color that you can think of with variations of sizes, stripes, flower arrangements, and fragrances, making them the ideal flowering plant to compliment your flower garden. It can also serve as your centerpiece as well.
Just a protip; look for varieties that are “self-cleaning” in order to save time deadheading these sun-loving flowers.
3. Dahlia (Dahlia)
Depending on your choice, Dahlias will come in different sizes, colors, and unique flower styles. This makes them perfect for planting in bunches and groups to either serve as the star of your garden or complement your other flowering plants.
In addition, Dahlia is a low-maintenance plant that only demands minimal attention when it comes to its care, making them beginner-friendly. If your garden is in a more sunny location of your home, give this plant a try!
4. Million Bells (Calibrachoa)
As their name suggests, this flowering plant blooms with luxuriant and dainty petunia-like flowers. They are better suited for warmer climates and just perfect for containers located in spaces that receive full sun.
Their flowers last from spring up until just before the first frost. They are also beginner-friendly due to their tough nature and do not require much attention for their care, especially when it comes to deadheading.
5. African Daisy (Osteospermum)
This daisy loves to show off in the full sun and definitely tolerates long periods of heat and drought. Their flowers bloom vibrantly and last throughout the year even without deadheading, except during the colder season. They can serve as the main attraction of your container garden or also as a filler plant beside your more flamboyant flowers!
6. Calendula (Calendula Officinalis)
This is a perfect flowering plant, especially when grown beside a herb garden or with vegetables. They can be placed in between the annual and perennial borders. You definitely can use this plant on its own, and it will serve as a beautiful display of blooms. They do best in full sun and make for excellent cut flowers.
Not only are they beautiful, but they also have edible and medicinal uses too.
7. Canna Lily (Canna x Generalis)
This flowering plant blooms bountifully with shimmering iris-like flowers in summer and warmer weather. Just as they love warmth, so do their shade and color, ranging from yellow, orange, maroon, and burgundy. For those gardeners who experience cooler summers, this brilliant tropical foliage will fill in any lack of blossoms in those seasons.
8. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum Majus)
The plant gets its nickname due to the flowers that have the appearance of a dragon that, when gently squeezed, opens its “jaws”. This plant has flowers that are arranged in a spike and blooms abundantly in every shade of the color spectrum that you can think of, depending on the variety you get.
These plants love full sun conditions and when you trim them earlier in the season, they will grow bushier with more spent blooms!
9. Dwarf Sunflowers (Helianthus)
A classic among flower gardeners, sunflowers are sure to catch any guest coming to your garden! Be sure to get the variety of dwarf sunflowers as this variety will grow best in containers. They will definitely serve as your piece-de-resistance of your display, among your filler plants that fill in the space of the sunflower’s long stems.
As their implies, these plants are sun lovers and will follow the sun’s rays throughout the day.
10. Scarlet Sage (Salvia Splendens)
This plant is ideal for your flower garden and in a herb garden or a vegetable garden as they welcome bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Their flowers, as their scientific name says, are indeed splendid! They have dramatic blooms of crimson that are sure to add a blazing note to your flower garden.
It is tough, tolerating drought, heat, sun, and even poorer soil conditions, making it ideal for that space in your garden that does not seem to make plants thrive.
11. Hortensia (Hydrangea)
Hortensias are one of the easier easy-to-grow favorites. Depending on your variety, they can serve as a centerpiece, while their dwarf varieties can serve as fillers for you more ornate and dazzling thrillers. The color of their blooms changes depending on the acidity of the soil they’re planted in, turning blue in acidic soils and turning pink in more alkaline soils.
Their white varieties almost look like snowballs. They are easy to grow and quite hardy against most pests and diseases.
12. Geraniums (Pelargonium Zonale)
Geraniums are well known for their blooms that cluster boldly through the year. Their flowers come in a wide selection of colors, from the coolest blues and purples to the deepest reds and pinks, to the brightest corals, salmon, and whites.
This is another classic flowering plant that does well in containers that are located in partial sun or partial shade. They do, however, bloom better when they are regularly deadheaded.
13. Impatiens (Impatiens)
Impatiens are ideal in scenarios where there are shaded spots in your garden that need a little more liveliness. They boldly boom in fiery shades of pink and red. They handle humid and moist conditions pretty well and will even bloom despite being in deeper shades.
They require a bit more watering and feeds than other plants on this list but, in return, also give you beautiful blooms!
14. Begonia (Begonia)
These plants are well regarded for their sophisticated double flowers that come in brilliant colors. They perform well in shaded areas and will also tolerate sun, provided conditions are moist and humid. However, it’s not only their flowers that add appeal to your space but also their leaves that come in twisted heart-shaped.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Andy Mabbett)
With their silvery to bronze foliage and beautiful, tiny flowers, these perennial plants will surely add texture and brightness to your gardens. Heucheras thrive best in shaded areas and produce dainty flowers during summer.
Ensure to feed them during summer and water them regularly to keep them at best. Prune their leaves regularly in the fall.
16. Alyssum (Lobularia Maritima)
Three words to describe this plant: charming, dainty, and fragrant. One quick look at this flowering plant, and you’ll know that it perfectly fits the word “filler”. They come in shades of white, purple, and pink that are sure to complement your centerpiece and also your trailing plants alike.
They tolerate the heat well and will provide an abundance of bloom from spring up until the first frost.
17. Zinnia (Zinnia Elegans)
One of the more adorable flowering plants, these plants bring warmth to summer days with their exciting reds, yellows, and oranges mixed around in different shades that can sometimes be found on the same flower. They are elegant as cut flowers and even more so when planted in containers.
True to their color and nature, they are heat and drought-tolerant and bring in wonderful pollinators like butterflies and bees all season long.
18. Marigold (Tagetes)
These quaint French marigolds descend from the giant but gorgeous African marigold. They bloom forth intense and blazing double flowers or signet flowers, depending on the variety you acquire.
Regardless, there is always space for marigolds to serve as fillers in your container garden. They can serve to spice up your space, complement a thriller, or even bring in pollinators.
19. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum)
Chrysanthemums are one of the more well-known garden flowers, and most plants are relatively easy to grow, making them beginner-friendly. They bloom in spring, summer, and fall, depending on the variety.
They come in most colors and shapes that anyone can think of, making them a perfect complement to any flower garden. Their colors range from warm oranges and reds to striking pinks, purples, and cool whites.
20. Bacopa (Sutera Cordata)
This plant’s flower is best described as the typical child-like drawing of a flower and is sometimes known as a snowflake. This plant cascades over its container, creating a white, pink, or blue waterfall-like appearance with its flowers. This plant loves the part sun but will also tolerate full sun conditions.
21. Lobelia (Lobelia Erinus)
Another spiller plant, lobelia, has been described as light and airy by gardeners due to their petite and quaint little flowers. They come in wide shades of blue, purple, rosy, and white. This will bloom throughout the season and is attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. It is beginner-friendly as it is easy to grow and does not need any deadheading.
22. Trailing Begonia (Begonia Boliviensis)
Just because this plant spill does not mean it doesn’t thrill! Its brilliant pendulous flowers almost seem to glimmer. It is relatively easy to care for and does not need deadheading for it to bloom abundantly. However, some will deadhead this plant just for the sake of keeping the garden clean and pleasing to look at.
This plant loves the sun but will also bloom in the shade. They become more heat tolerant, provided conditions are humid.
23. Black-Eyed-Susan Vine (Thunbergia Alata)
Some would consider this plant as the bigger sibling of the Bacopa. The young-looking Black-eyed-susan flowers are brilliant and look like they were playfully placed by a fairy all over the plant. This flowing vine grows up to 20 feet in the tropics.
They may grow to 8 feet in a season and are amazing for smothering a barren area with pleasant orange flowers. Their foliage also adds dimension to the place they’re placed in.
24. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
With exotic-looking leaves and flowers that also happen to be edible, this plant tumbles over its container or will also climb or hang around a trellis. The lilypad-looking leaves create a deep background for its fiery flowers that are adored by pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
25. Fan Flower (Scaevola aemula)
Fan flower is an airy and breezy plant that flares its petals in a dainty, fan-like fashion, hence its name. They’re so light, that their flowers dance and flow with the wind. Also, a beginner-friendly plant that requires little attention for its care.
They love the sun, tolerate drought exceptionally well, and do not need constant deadheading for it to bloom all summer season long.
26. Verbena (Verbena)
This plant is a classic favorite among experienced gardeners. The tumbling flowers of this plant bring forth the nostalgia that summer seems to last forever. They bring forth both fragrance and brightness to any garden that lasts from spring to just before frost.
As a cherry on top, they also attract pollinators like butterflies. Their colors range from white, corals, mauves, and deep violets. They thrive in the sun and tolerate dry and hot conditions well.
27. Rocktrumpet (Mandevilla)
This fascinating group of plants was bred from plants discovered in mining regions in Brazil. Depending on your variety, some will vine, others will tumble, and others will bush. Regardless, these plants will add a tropical aesthetic to the space they are added in.
Their flowers range from warm reds and pinks to brilliant whites. It is thought that they are annuals, but they are actually frost-tender perennials.
Pansies are classic flowers for flowering pots. These lovely annuals are the best for you if you plan to create a flowering garden in the early spring or fall. They also have wide varieties to choose from, all with different colors that will definitely make your garden bang with colors.
They are known to be cold-hardy; thus, you don’t need to worry much about cold temperatures. However, they don’t thrive very well in high temperatures, so it would be the best time to start making your potted garden Pansies at the onset or offset of summer.
Because of their spreading growth habit, Lantanas are one of the best flowering plants for your container gardens, especially when hung. Like Petunias, they grow over the edge of the hanging baskets and drape down the side, providing a cascading effect that is beautiful to look at. In addition, these plants produce clusters of brightly colored flowers.
The Lantana plants are also drought-resistant, like the succulents. They thrive best under full sun and grow more blooms in this light condition. However, when placed in partly shaded areas, these plants do not produce as many flowers as compared to when they are under direct sun.
Another gorgeous flowering plant that is suitable for your container gardening is the Portulaca, commonly known as Purslane. This plant is low maintenance and has considerable drought tolerance, which is a plus point for gardeners and lovers alike.
These succulent-like creeping vines offer a wide variety of bloom colors that can surely brighten up your space. They are commonly utilized for container gardening, in window boxes, or combined with other plants as spillers. Plus, they attract butterflies and hummingbirds for other wildlife antics in your gardens, patios, or decks.
Dianthus plants, commonly known as Pinks, are hardy perennials that are appealing as flowering plants in pots or hanging baskets. Aside from their beautiful, blousy blossoms, the fragrance of these plants is delightful, reminiscent of cloves and vanilla.
With these plants in your garden, you do not just satisfy your visual senses but also your olfactory senses.
Dianthus thrives best in full sun or partial shade. Do not let it under the direct sun for a more healthy growth. Make sure to also cut it back during the fall season.
Hopefully this list has given you a few ideas for your next flowering container garden designs and vision! This list contains the best container plants to love and care for as seasons come and go. Not only does gardening provide pleasurable senses for you as the gardener but also for your friends and family.
Now go out there and stretch your creative mind and explore the endless possibilities!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you plant your pots so they bloom all year?
Blooming of plants really depends on the care and the nutrients the plants are receiving. Quantity and quality of light play a great role for the plants flowering. Make sure they are placed in a location where they get enough light. Ensure to water them properly. See to it that your pots have drainage holes to avoid waterlogging. Add slow-releasing fertilizer to augment growth and development.
Can I leave perennials in pots over winter?
If you lack appropriate space indoors, your perennial plants can be put into the ground during winter. Dug them to the soil until they are on the same level as the ground surrounding them. This will surely help in moderating the temperature in the containers and avoid excessive freezing and melting.
How do I keep my container plants looking good?
In order to keep your potted plants looking good and healthy, you must ensure to give them proper care and attention. Choose the right pot, with proper size and drainage holes. Drainage is essential in order to avoid waterlogging. Use appropriate potting soil mix. Avoid overwatering and give them adequate light. Read about your plant in order to know how to properly care for them.
Should you change potting soil every year?
You don’t need to replace your potting soil every year. However, you must amend it to ensure the water drains well or there are still enough nutrients in it. The thing is old potting soil can become compact over time, thus you need to plow it once in a while. Add fertilizers in appropriate quantities and time.
What is the best month to plant flowers?
Planting flowers ultimately depends on where you are located and the time of seasonal changes. Most flowering plants should be grown after the last frost date of your region. Spring time is the most famous time to plant flowers. However, perennials can still grow fine if they are planted in the early fall in the Northern regions, and late fall in the Southern regions.
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